Just a couple months back, I can remember watching Season 15 American Idol winner Trent Harmon nearly cave in to the pressure when he was diagnosed with Mono during Hollywood Week.
Hollywood Week at American Idol is known to be wickedly grueling! Sleepless nights are jammed up against some of the world's most competitive vocalists in a do-or-die atmosphere.
Encouraged by doctors to go home, Trent was restricted from interacting with other contestants during the group performance round.
"I was so exasperated to a degree. I was kind of quarantined to the bathroom for four of five days." He remembers, "They told me, man you can quit!"
Harmon labored over making a decision as he was lying sick and discombobulated on the bathroom floor.
But he did not quit! Trent found a way to compete as a soloist in the group round and went on to be crowned the 15th and final American Idol!
The secret to winning, Harmon said, is simple: preparation.
Harmon continued, "I quote one of my favorite basketball coaches, Mr. Bobby Knight," he said. "Everybody wants to win. Not everybody prepares to win. I prepared to win in July. I prepared to win 25 years ago when I was riding around in a tractor with headphones in my ears."
Vocal coach and mentor Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records has taken Trent under his wing to create what he describes as a "Justin Timberlake country record."
Humbled and aware of his new challenge, Trent goes on to say:
"I am fully aware of the fact that all that happened tonight is that it got me to the bottom of the next level. That’s all I really wanted was I just wanted a fighting chance. This doesn’t put me at the top of radio, it doesn’t put me in the top 100, it just gets me to the bottom of the next level up and I’m good with that.”
Upon winning, Trent said not once or twice, but THREE times in a row: "I worked so hard. I worked so hard. I worked so hard!"
I share this with you because I know how hard you work, Superstar.
Sometimes it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You may not know exactly how in those heavy moments you are going to pull through, but DON'T STOP! Don't give up! Find a way to pull through.
When in our darkest hour, know that it is in this place where transformation happens.
Trent's story of perseverance through adversity and his long-term strategy of preparation is the secret to winning--whether it's American Idol or any dreams you are pursuing.
With preparation and perseverance, nothing can stop you!
For a moment of inspiration, click here to watch Trent singing Sia's 'Chandelier' on American Idol!